Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matt. 28:18-20

Do you want to make a difference in 2017? The key to making a difference in our churches, according to Verge Network, is to make disciples. That, after all, is the key action point to Jesus’ Great Commission.

Below are eight reasons why discipleship is the key to making a difference in the world, taken from the video, “The 8 Keys to Making a Difference This Year” by Verge Network, with quotes from eight Christian leaders featured in the video.

1. Disciplemaking is the key to the transformation of the world. “In discipling people, they will develop the transformation of individuals, communities, neighborhoods, cities and nations.” – Michael Frost, missiologist

2. Disciplemaking is what it means to follow Jesus. “He didn’t say make them Christian. I think they should be like Christ after they learn about Christ. Then they can behave like Christ. That’s where I think we’ve sort of got it backwards.” – Dr. John Perkins

3. Disciplemaking is strategic and central to making a difference. “Evangelism isn’t sharing certain facts about Jesus as if we’ve got no obligation before and afterwards. Evangelism takes place in the context of a relationship called discipleship.” – Alan Hirsch, Forge Mission Training Network

4. Disciplemaking was Jesus’ priority. “We see the way He did things was He gathered a random group of people and He poured his life into them. When you make disciples you get a missional movement. When you make disciples the way He made disciples, the world is changed.” – Jo Saxton, 3DM Frontier Leader

5. Not making disciples is a serious offense to Jesus. “Jesus rises from the dead and commands us to do it. That’s a pretty big deal. And it’s a pretty big deal if we ignore that type of command.” – Francis Chan

6. Disciplemaking is what Jesus told us to do. “If you’re not making disciples, I’d go so far as to say that you’re not a church, because the church’s primary role is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.” – Leonce Crump, pastor, Renovation Church, Atlanta

7. Disciplemaking should be the principle task of our lives. “The Great Commission is defined by discipleship. That was His last word. He saved his most important statement for His last word, so obviously it has to be the principle task our lives.” – Mike Breen

8. Disciplemaking is how God will cover the earth with his glory. “The only way we’re ever going to see the glory of God cover all the earth is when there are people living for the glory of God in all of life. And that’s really what a disciple is.” – Jeff VanderStelt, apostolic movement leader of Soma